Let's Go Holoholo!

by Karl Hitzemann

Isn't it fun to just go for a long walk, or take a drive with no particular destination in mind? Or on the spur of the moment decide to take a weekend trip to a nearby city? When the people of Hawaii do something like that, they call it a "holoholo" (ho-loh-ho-loh), which basically means "a leisurely walk or ride."

There are many Hawaiian words and places featured in this cool song. First off, notice that the tempo marking is "shaka," which is a popular surfing term that means "hang loose" or "take it easy." From there, you find a fun, easygoing melody that your singers will pick up quickly. They will get to learn the names of several Hawaiian places, for which we have provided pronunciations and brief descriptions below. The term used in the second ending, "hana hou!" (HA-nuh ho) means "do it again" or "one more time."

Of course, the song features a very Hawaiian accompaniment with ukulele and slide guitar among other instruments. Be sure to bring out the grass skirts, Hawaiian shirts, leis, sunglasses, etc., for a perfect tropical scene during your performance. You might even have a few aspiring hula dancers in your group!

Interesting facts like the ones listed here, along with a discussion on the Hawaiian language, would make "Let's Go Holoholo!" an excellent tool for cross curricular teaching and learning about Hawaii and/or Hawaiian music.

The Hana (HA-nuh) Highway – A popular tourist attraction in Maui. People who travel along this famous road are treated to many waterfalls and attractions.

O'ahu (oh-AH-hoo) and Diamond Head – The island of O'ahu is home to the well-known beach Waikiki. Here you'll find many resorts and hotels and, of course, Diamond Head – the volcanic tuff cone that is one of the most well-known landmarks of Hawaii.

Kaneohe (kah-ney-OH-hay) – Kaneohe is part of Honolulu and is located on the windward side of O'ahu. In Hawaiian, it means "bamboo man."

Kailua (kahy-LOO-uh) – Also on the windward side of O'ahu, the small, quiet community of Kailua is just a 30-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu.

Mauna Loa (MOU-nuh LOH-uh) – Mauna Loa is the world's largest and one of its most active volcanoes. It's located on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.